Funded by the Big Lottery’s Young Start programme, Argyll’s Walking Theatre Company is now launching a youth theatre programme for young people across rural Argyll.
This is effectively a translation to young teams of the mode of mobile interactive performance evolved by The Walking Theatre Company
The Walking Youth Theatre (WYT), along with other industry professionals, will guide young people between the ages of 8-18 to creating their own theatrical events, working within their own community and cultural heritage.
The learning and development programme includes production, performance, business workshops and public performances with our Youth Theatre taking the lead.
Sadie Dixon-Spain, artistic director of The Walking Theatre Company, says: ‘We’re just so excited about this opportunity.
‘Young people in rural areas often really struggle to get involved in the arts. Bringing theatre to rural communities and encouraging the next generation of young creative professionals has always at the heart of The Walking Theatre ethos. Now, with WYT, younger generations not only get to see theatre but create it as well – within a practical professional environment.
‘The WYT will be about more than performance.
‘It’s about building confidence, creating community ties and sharing all kinds of useful skills – whether it’s acting, advertising, or making a funding pitch. So even if the thought of performing turns your blood to ice, you can still get fully involved.
‘It’s going to be fantastic, rolling this out across Argyll. We’re really grateful to Young Start for funding us, and we can’t wait to get started.’
The Walking Youth Theatre is in the process of recruiting a Project Development Officer for a 12-month post.
Part of this development is another example of what we call ‘applied arts’ – initiatives using the creative and expressive skills of the arts in other superficially alien spheres which have their own performative demands – like making a funding pitch.
The current youth team with whom The Walking Theatre Company has been working for some years is from the Isle of Lismore (pictured). The plan seems to be to involve this group of young people, relatively experienced now in mobile, outdoor, audience-participation performance.
The additional experience of working as mentors with new groups of young people, which we assume will be the case, will add another level of transferable skills development to their personal portfolios,